A new Covid-19 vaccine soon to be approved in Australia appears to be even better than all others on offer, with new data showing it could prevent all deaths from the virus.

Trial data from the UK shows the Novavax jab stops 96 per cent of infections and 100 per cent of serious illness and death from the original version of coronavirus.

Australia has ordered 51 million doses of the jab, but it has not yet been approved by regulators.

The vaccine was also about 86 per cent effective in stopping the more contagious UK strain of Covid-19, which has caused havoc in several Australian hotel quarantine systems.

It was about 90 per cent effective overall, combining data from people infected with both versions of the coronavirus.

In a smaller trial conducted in South Africa – where volunteers were primarily exposed to another newer, more contagious variant widely circulating there and spreading around the world – the Novavax vaccine was only around 55 per cent effective at stopping infection but still fully prevented severe illness and death.

Results from the final analysis of the UK trial were largely in line with interim data released in January.

Australia is currently rolling out the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs, which are both very effective at stopping serious illness.

People who have received a vaccine can be given another type of jab later if it proves to be a more effective combination.

It comes after Health Department boss Brendan Murphy confirmed all Australians will not get both jabs by October.

But Professor Murphy said a solitary shot of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 jab – rather than two – will be enough to ‘completely vaccinate’ the population by then.

Speaking on Thursday, Professor Murphy admitted the target of four million vaccinations by next month also won’t be achieved.

He said ‘global supply issues’ with a number of European countries – including Italy blocking the export of a shipment of 250,000 doses to Australia – was the reason for the delay.

Australia had been expecting 3.8 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Europe in March, but so far only 700,000 doses have arrived – leaving a 3.1 million shortfall.

The vaccine was also about 86 per cent effective in stopping the more contagious UK strain of Covid-19, which has caused havoc in several Australian hotel quarantine systems.

It was about 90 per cent effective overall, combining data from people infected with both versions of the coronavirus.

In a smaller trial conducted in South Africa – where volunteers were primarily exposed to another newer, more contagious variant widely circulating there and spreading around the world – the Novavax vaccine was only around 55 per cent effective at stopping infection but still fully prevented severe illness and death.

Results from the final analysis of the UK trial were largely in line with interim data released in January.

Australia is currently rolling out the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs, which are both very effective at stopping serious illness.

People who have received a vaccine can be given another type of jab later if it proves to be a more effective combination.

It comes after Health Department boss Brendan Murphy confirmed all Australians will not get both jabs by October.

But Professor Murphy said a solitary shot of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 jab – rather than two – will be enough to ‘completely vaccinate’ the population by then.

Speaking on Thursday, Professor Murphy admitted the target of four million vaccinations by next month also won’t be achieved.

He said ‘global supply issues’ with a number of European countries – including Italy blocking the export of a shipment of 250,000 doses to Australia – was the reason for the delay.

Australia had been expecting 3.8 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Europe in March, but so far only 700,000 doses have arrived – leaving a 3.1 million shortfall.

Image Credit:   Novavax

Post by Amanda Scott, NA CEO.  Follow her on twitter @tantriclens

Thanks to Heinz V. Hoenen.  Follow him on twitter: @HeinzVHoenen

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